Soil Scientist

Analyze soil samples. Advise clients regarding nutrient management, application of chemicals, pollution prevention and cleanup efforts,or erosion control. Advance sustainable agricultural practices. If this sounds exciting, you may enjoy working as a soil scientist.

soil scientist jobs, work as a soil scientistWhat Does a Career as a Soil Scientist Look Like?

Study the chemical, physical, biological and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. Classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity. Soil scientists study soil characteristics, map soil types and document the ecological impact of application of fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, minerals and organic plant matter.

A career as a soil scientist usually entails:

  • Research of soil composition response to a wide variety of factors.
  • Analysing and documenting impact of agricultural processes and methodologies to promote sustainable, ecologically friendly choices.
  • Communication of findings and recommendations to farmers, builders, ranchers and conservationists.
  • Advise methods for correcting or preventing erosion, pollution or nutrient depletion of soil.

To work in this field, you need to have deep knowledge of soil science, including microbiology and chemistry. You will need to know how to test, study and document chemical and biological changes in soil such that the information can be used for practical applications in the field. Strong communication skills and problem solving abilities are necessary.

Soil Scientist Salary and Forecast

Those working as soil scientists earn a median salary of $64,140 (as of 2016).

soil scientist salary

Job opportunities in the industry are growing at a rate of 5-8%, with North Carolina leading the way with a job opportunity growth rate of 16.2%.

soil scientist job forecast

What Education is Required to Work in Soil Science?

Most of these career opportunities require at least a bachelor’s degree, and some require graduate work or a graduate level certificate.

soil scientist education requirements

Explore the many related educational programs available at NC State here:

  • Majors, Minors & Certificates

Soil Scientist Job Opportunities

Explore soil science job opportunities.

Ready to Get Started?

Interested in a environmentally important career involving analysis and advising? Jumpstart your career by applying to a soil science program today.